For whatever reason, the majority of our volunteers are women. Our nursing team has just one male – Chuck Allison, LPN. Intake, reception and scheduling have none. A few years ago, Rick Kraus began to volunteer.
Rick recently retired from the hospital after a successful career in purchasing. He is a Vietnam Vet, husband, father, and grandfather. He is an all-around good guy who is a delight to have at the clinic. The fact that he is a man, made him unique at VIM; the reality that he is such a good person makes him Volunteer of the Year.
Most volunteers do one thing and do it well. For example a nurse or scheduler may commit to one 4- hour shift per week to provide clinical nursing or patient scheduling. Not Rick, he is a jack of all trades. His primary responsibility is to volunteer in our Medication Services department. He assists with Pharmacy Assistance Program applications and manages inventory control of our donated medications and supplies. But he does so much more.
Before his shoulder surgery, he regularly mowed our grass and maintained the property. He can be counted on for the occasional dump run. We regularly ask him to hang pictures.
When he heard CRMC was renovating their pharmacy, he arranged the donation of their old lockable medication storage cabinets to VIM. Then he arranged for their pick-up and delivery.
Rick is also an advocate for VIM with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 602. Back in 2012, VIM decided to do a fundraiser 5K Run. With Rick’s intercession, Chapter 602 not only sponsored the event, but supplied and distributed the awards and provided much needed manpower for the event.
Members of Chapter 602 assisted with set-up and take down, with registrations and T-shirt distribution. They hauled supplies to and from the Clinic and the race. This became an annual commitment until we discontinued our run in 2019.
Not to be deterred, Chapter 602 moved their support to our Annual Celebration. They not only sponsor this event, but typically fill one to three tables as well. They are a fabulous Community Partner to VIM.
Retired U.S. Army Colonel Albert Nahas, a Vietnam veteran famously said "We had no expectations but to serve where duty called us. We asked for no reward except a nation's thanks." Rick and his fellow Vietnam Veterans of Chapter 602 continue to serve. They are shining examples of VIM’s motto: neighbors caring for neighbors.
It is our honor to celebrate Rick Kraus and the Vietnam Veterans of Chapter 602; to show a small token of our deep appreciation; to give thanks for all they do for our community.
Please contact Jackie Meiluta at email@example.com or 609-778-2710 for more information.
Volunteers in Medicine
Free Clinics of So. Jersey
423 North Route 9
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
3073 English Creek Ave
Egg Harbor Twp, NJ 08234
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